Published August 05, 2010
So at age 14, Dutch lass Laura Decker has just won a legal battle against child protection authorities to let her sail around the globe by her lonesome.
Now, you could say "kids do the most amazing things" or "when I was 14, all I steered was a Playboy (with one hand)." But the former is stupid and the latter is tired.
If you remember, back in June, 16-year-old Abby Sunderland tried the same thing, but capsized in the Indian Ocean. She had to be rescued by a French fishing boat (I know!), with the captain almost losing his life.
And so, once again I say: Crap like this is purely selfish; an act of daring that depends on others risking their lives to save you once you screw up.
If you really want danger, you'd sign a contract refusing help when everything turns pear-shaped. Of course, everyone will be too decent to abide, even if it kills them.
Think about what Decker's really doing. To me it's like a dude who drinks himself to near death, knowing one of his friends will call 911 and get him to the ER to get his stomach pumped. The ambulance will arrive and the dude will be fine; and the taxpayers foot the bill.
And look, the real appeal of this trip is that it's a risk. The risk is based on the fact that she could die. That risk is greatly elevated because she's 14. In effect, her parents are saying, "Hey everyone, my kid could croak during this! Bring a camera!"
Well done, Mom and Dad. Why not have her wrestle a lion in a costume made of pork chops? It's probably cheaper.
And if you disagree, you are a gap-toothed, Bible-thumping, gun-toting, cousin-violating, Nazi-loving redneck who waxes his monster truck with baby seals.